A computed tomography scan or CT scan, is a test often ordered by physicians to check for a variety of health conditions. It uses a combination of computerized technology and x-rays to create a visual of a patient’s bones, organs and other body tissues. It can show much more detail than a traditional x-ray. The scan may be performed on any part of the body. It doesn’t take long to complete and it is painless.
Why Would My Doctor Order a CT Scan?
If your physician has recently ordered a computed tomography scan, there are several reasons why they would do this.
Here are some of the most common instances where a doctor will order this particular test.
Check for Bone or Joint Problems
A CT scan makes it possible to check for bone or joint damage even if an x-ray is unable to find the problem. These scans can detect a number of issues that could be the source of pain. These issues can include everything from bone fractures to tumors.
Shows Internal Injuries for Urgent Care
Car accident victims who are suffering from internal bleeding and other injuries that aren’t outwardly visible need a fast way to diagnose the problem. A CT scan can detect internal injuries and bleeding so that the physicians know what areas to treat.
Help with Guidance During Procedures
A CT scan can be a useful tool that doctors and surgeons use while performing other tests and procedures. The scan can help the doctor with guidance during a biopsy, surgery, or while a patient is undergoing radiation therapy.
Help With Locating Serious Blood Clots or Tumors
A CT scan may be ordered if your doctor suspects you have a tumor or blood clot. These issues could be a symptom of a very serious problem; therefore the sooner they are discovered the better off the patient will be. These scans may also be used to look for signs of an infection or any excess fluid.
Check for Heart Conditions or Cancer
A CT scan can help doctors look for any changes inside the body of individuals who have a serious health condition such as heart disease or certain types of cancer. A CT scan can also help doctors look for any changes inside the body. This can be useful for individuals with emphysema or liver masses.
How to Prepare for a CT Scan
To prepare for your upcoming CT scan, your doctor may require you to remove clothing and wear a hospital gown. This all depends on what part of the body you have scanned. You will need to remove any metal objects like jewelry, dentures, or belts. That’s because the metal could end up interfering with the imaging results.
Patients who are about to have a CT scan should also refrain from drinking or eating anything at least three to four hours prior to their scan.
CT scans are painless, and only take a few minutes to complete, especially if your facility has a newer machine. The entire process including preparing usually takes around thirty minutes to complete.
Following your procedure, you should be able to return back to your normal activities. Patients may receive special instructions if they were administered any contrast material used to make the images clearer. In most cases, these patients are told to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the contrast material from the body.
If you have questions or concerns about an illness or injury and are unable to see your regular doctor at this time, we are here to help. Visit BASS Urgent Care today. Our medical experts are here to help assist you with a variety of treatment and care options when you need it.